Ahead of Record Store Day 2013 on 20 April, musicOMH’s live editor Helen Clarke takes a look at some of the special appearances scheduled for record shops across the country on the day, and reminisces on how record shops first fed her love of music…
Everyone remembers their first. For me it was Orbit Records, sandwiched between Burton Menswear and Woolworths in Long Eaton, the market town I grew up in on the Derby/Nottingham border. There wasn’t much going on if the local club, Ritzy – which played a mind-numbing array of garage and… garage – wasn’t your cuppa tea. Nottingham, and the wonderful Rock City, were a 45 minute bus ride away, as was the gob-smacking and sadly missed Selectadisc. But it was at Orbit that I began my journey into what would grow to become an obsession.
The guy who ran the shop wasn’t one of Nick Hornby’s ‘record store guys’; a middle aged man who dressed in sensible jeans and shirts – most probably purchased next door – he didn’t play the latest bands and sneer at you for daring to ask who was on the instore stereo. Instead, he adopted the persona of a kindly sweetshop owner; he knew everyone’s name, what they liked, and if you fancied something he didn’t have, he’d make sure he ordered it for you. If you wanted to listen to something before you bought it, he’d stick it on, and there was always a stack of music magazines to flick through and chat about.
As a teenager with a part time job, money was tight, so I got my kicks in Orbit’s second hand section, and those already battered sleeves and cracked cases are still part of my beloved collection. The Smiths, X Ray Spex, Edith Piaf, The Clash, Lloyd Cole… they all came from those shelves, which I knew so well I could flick through and know what was coming next if a new order hadn’t come in. At the age of 16, trying to muscle together some money for a ticket to my first festival, I took in a pile of CDs to sell into that section, only for him to refuse to take them – I’d regret it when I was older, he said – before offering to lend me the ticket money himself.
As I got older, that vaguely musty smell, the hum of music and the encyclopaedic knowledge of the shop’s owner (its only employee) and its regulars stayed with me, even if I outgrew its wares. Orbit didn’t stock the riot grrrl imports and indie 7”s I craved, so Selectadisc, Loughborough’s Left Legged Pineapple, and later at university, Piccadilly Records and Vinyl Exchange in Manchester, took over from Orbit. It’s long since been turned into a charity shop, but I’ll never forget it.
All music fans of a certain breed will tell you a similar tale, and with the demise of HMV, 2013’s Record Store Day serves as a timely reminder of the fragility of those musical meccas we often take for granted. What started in 2007 as a geeky grumble from behind the dusty shelves of backstreet shops is now a fully-fledged day-long festival celebrating the joy of the physical release and their kooky homes. Thanks to the enthusiasm of an initial few, shops up and down the country now take part; there’s plenty of goodies to be found, with countless artists releasing (and re-releasing) exclusive, limited edition records which will only be available in shops on the day (or as long as they last). In return, acts will be pitching up in shops all over the country to play free sets for the devoted.
So on Saturday 20 April go out, explore and enjoy the places that for many of us act as a church, school, social club and therapy centre. But remember: a record store isn’t just for Record Store Day.
Record Store Day 2013
Rummaging through the racks of special releases can be part of the fun, but if you’re anticipating the crush of Rough Trade East or want to beat the crowds at Vinyl Exchange, we’ve picked out some of the highlights – as well as some of the live sets to get you in the mood.
If you can’t decide where in London to strike, you could do worse than head down to Berwick Street. The ‘Golden Mile of Vinyl’ will be home to a pop-up cinema screening Record Store Day-affiliated film The Last Shop Standing, with DJs and “a cult rock band” among the as yet unannounced line-up. Live music will be going on from 12-7pm, and of course there will be plenty of vinyl for sale on the market, as well as a “music history experience” from the Museum of Soho. Shops getting in on the action include Sister Ray, Reckless Records and The Music and Video Exchange, while Sounds Of The Universe around the corner on Broadwick Street, Black Market Soho on D’Arblay Street and Phonica on Poland Street will be joining in too.
Over in Brick Lane, Rough Trade East will open from 9am, with music starting at 11am. Frank Turner, Daniel Avery, Sam Willis, Public Service Broadcasting, The Strypes and King Midas Sound will be playing – and there’s even face painting and Record Store Day-themed colouring in for kids.
At Vinyl Pimp, acts from Planet Mu and Erased Tapes will playing throughout the day; Douglas Dare, Luke Vibert and Equinox are scheduled between 1-10pm.
If you can squeeze into Notting Hill’s Rough Trade West, you’ll be able to catch UK Decay, Joe Gideon and The Shark, Fimber Bravo and Lewis Watson.
Out in Kingston, the brilliant Banquet Records will be getting in on the action, with events all day, including Frank Turner at 7pm.
Spillers’ have lined up Sweet Baboo, Bones of Saint James and Rail Road Bill, and will be producing a Record Store Day fanzine for some in-queue reading.
Truck Store have bagged The Wedding Present, who will be doing an acoustic headliner set, with other bands playing throughout the day.
One of our favourite record stores, Resident, will be rewarding persistence with an “organised queuing system” and promise it won’t be a “free for all” – a good place for early birds! They’re also promising goodie bags.
Piccadilly Records is teaming up with Common from 1pm-2am, for a day and night of live music from Jonnie Common, Bernard + Edith, Emperor Zerp and Horsebeach and DJs from local record labels including SWAYS, Red Deer Club and Folk Lore. They’ll all feature on a limited edition tape available to buy.
Soup Kitchen’s line-up includes G R E A T W A V E S, Francis Lung, Bloom, Weird Era, Kult Country and Heart Ships.
While you’re there, don’t forget to pop into Beatin’ Rhythm in Tib Street – no live acts are planned but if northern soul, rhythm n blues, ’60s girl groups and soul is your bag, you’ll be in heaven.
Head will be open from 8am. The brilliant She Makes War will be playing at 2pm, with Actual Bird, Vena Cava and Big Joan playing on the hour right up to 5pm.
Rise will also be opening its doors at 8am, ready for a 10am set from James Yorkston, Pitcish Trail and Seamus Fogarty. Also on the bill are Lund Quartet, Alessi’s Ark and, at 9pm, the brilliant Portico Quartet.
Jumbo is putting on drinks and snacks, while the likes of Serafina Steer, James Yorkston and The Ukrainians play.
The Music Exchange has lined up DJs throughout the day, as well a spoken word set from David Thomas. In the evening, they’ll be putting on The Hip Priests, I Am Lono, The Cusp and Hang at Spanky Van Dykes.
Love Music’s live slots start at 2pm, with Glasvegas, Woodenbox, Fake Major, Three Blind Wolves and Washington Irving.
Another of our favourites, Avalanche, opens at 9am, with bands – including Glasvegas and Admiral Fallow – playing from 2pm.
Vox Box have got local labels Song, By Toad and FENCE Records on board to serve up sets from Mike Hastings of Trembling Bells playing an acoustic set, as well as Adam Stafford, Magic Eye, Honeyblood and Wounded Knee.
Find your nearest store by postcode or location or see the full list of participants at: http://www.recordstoreday.co.uk/participating-stores/